Brook Blanche, Kody Oh, and Joey Henry spend much of their lives on the road as The Calamity Cubes. But on Thursday night the band members will each play solo acoustic sets as part of an evening billed as The Attack of the Acoustic Agitators, featuring Split Lip Rayfield’s Wayne Gottstine, the band Filthy Still and others.
For Blanche, Oh, and Henry, the show is more than a just another show. And songs, in this setting are more than songs.
“It’s a celebration of storytelling in the fact that it’s a whole bunch of songwriters all night,” Henry says.
Those stories, cast as songs, cover a broad range of experiences—and that’s within The Calamity Cubes alone.
“Joey writes cool, beautiful, pretty, powerful, emotional songs and I write songs about drinking and messing up,” says Brooke Blanche.
“Kody’s songs… he writes these beautiful novellas,” Henry adds. “Amazing and beautiful and heart-wrenching stories. It’s hard to have enough time and enough space to get all of those stories out there, that’s why we do our solo sets—because we need to have other venues and avenues to get it out there because nobody wants to go to a six-hour Cubes show or [one where] we each play 20 songs. That would be ridiculous.”
“In a sense we’re all just telling our own stories and sharing our own perspectives with the world in the best way that we can,” offers Oh, adding that that he’s happy to be on a bill that features Split Lip Rayfield’s Wayne Gottstine. He, Blanche, and Oh say that during their travels on the road, they’ve found that Kansas and Split Lip Rayfield are essentially synonymous. Often times they walk into a venue or meet up with fans and hear this:
“ ‘Oh you boys are from Kansas? You know the Split Lip guys, right? We travel the same paths, although they forged that path years and years prior to us.”
Blanche adds that he, Oh, and Henry sometimes connect with other Kansas on the road—including their close friends in Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy—and sometimes in the most unlikely places.
“We passed Carrie Nation on the highway in California. We both took the exit and sat under the same bridge for an hour or two and just hung out.”
And, that is part of what Henry consistently refers to as the family element of life on the road with his band. It’s an interconnected collection of fans, groups, venues, and places to stay that he says keeps his band alive. And, in turn, is critical to the life of other bands.
“We survive because we have family that believes in us. We have to give that back and we have to show that tenfold. There’s also a lead by example thing—even if it hurts you just have to do it to know that you can. To know that it’s possible to live in the way that you believe.”
Joey Henry, Brook Blanche, and Kody Oh perform solo sets Thursday night at the Public at the Brickyard, as part of the Attack of the Acoustic Agitators show.
Inside Public at the Brickyard
6pm-Calamity Cubes Acoustic Solo Sets
Outside Brickyard Mischief Makers